Arthritis is the inflammation of joints and is a very common disease. Arthritis can be caused due to various reasons, and therefore, different types of arthritis are reported in human beings.
The most common types of arthritis which are found in human beings are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Here we will discuss gout in a bit more detail.
Gout is caused by uric acid, which comes from two sources in the body. Either it is produced by the body, or it comes as a byproduct of protein breakdown from the food consumed. When this uric acid is not properly excreted from the body, its level rises in the blood, and it tends to deposit in the space between joints in various parts of the body. This deposition of uric acid in the joints is seen by the body’s immune system as a foreign entity. The immune system attacks these depositions causing inflammation in the joints, causing the onset of arthritis.
Symptoms of gout
Symptoms of gout include redness, heat, and pain in the affected area. The pain can be recurring and excruciating.
Gout commonly develops at the toes, knee joints, and elbows. At a later stage of the disease, the thumbs and fingers also get involved.
If gout is left untreated over a long period, then the crystals can form lumps around the joint. These lumps are not hurtful but can give the joints a deformed appearance.
Diagnosis is made mostly by blood tests and by taking into consideration the symptoms being experienced by the patient. A more accurate diagnosis can be made by a joint fluid test, blood test, x-ray, and ultrasound.
Management and Treatment
Gout is usually treated by medications. Pain relief medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are mostly recommended. Medications which facilitate the excretion of uric acid from the body and decrease the production of uric acid within the body can also be recommended by the doctor.
It is advised that people with gout should try to achieve a target blood uric acid level below 6 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Maintaining this level over a period of time can help patients to find relief from the symptoms exhibited by this disease.
People who are overweight are most prone to this disease. Also, people who consume foods high in purines, and people who are alcoholics are more likely to develop gout.
So it is of utmost importance to lead an active lifestyle and consume a balanced diet and avoid being overweight.
It is a good idea to stay away from alcohol and also sugary drinks. Daily intake of lots of water should be made a part of everyday routine. Instead of meat, protein requirements should be fulfilled from dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Gout is a treatable condition. A proper diagnosis and sustained managemental measures should be able to help the patient to get rid of the gout symptoms.
Management and treatment – https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/understanding-gout-basic-information#1